4 weeks, 4 days left….

4 weeks and 4 days left. How many times have you heard that today? Once teachers have gone through the usual, “how are you? How was half-term? Did you do anything interesting?” The conversation usually finishes with the countdown to the next break in term time. After repeating this conversation 6 or 7 times I headed out to my first class which was full of eager students ready to learn. Whoops! Did I say full? What I meant to say was only half of my class were on time. Why were they late? My favourite response was the blunt “The bus that gets me in on time is too early”. Oops! Did I say eager to learn? What I meant to say to was, eager to catch up on all the gossip from half term. “I got a job”, “I went to this party”, “I wrote-off my car” and so on. In all honesty it was today that was the write-off. In every single lesson I had to try and use engaging lesson activities in attempt to battle teenage gossip….it was a massacre (no thanks to the new series of TOWIE last night).

Despite the lack of learning taking place today (it will only be today!), I did miss my students over half-term and I think its important that there is a bond between the teacher and student. The fact that the students wanted to share their gossip with me and catch up with me as well as their peers counts for something. Although I do miss my students during my breaks, I’m counting down the next 4 weeks and 4 days until the next one!

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Half-Term, Does It Really Exist?

It’s Friday 22nd February which means one thing…..today is the last day of half-term and we go back to work on Monday!

If you are a non-teacher I know what you’re thinking, you think that teachers have absolutely no right to complain about anything because we spend 1/4 of the year on ‘holiday’ and when we do work it’s only until 3:30pm! I wish this was the case! I could write page after page on how hard we work but I want to focus on half-term. Today is day 5 of my break and I have been in the office…..5 days! I’m not saying that every teacher spends their break in their school working every hour, but any teacher who is not perfect and super efficient at planning probably had a stack of marking at the start of the week. I have worked my ass of every day this week and guess what? I still have a huge stack of marking! Yes I have met a friend for lunch and on a couple of occasions I haven’t left my bed until 10am, but for the rest of the time I’ve been intensely marking and planning.  

If I’m working this hard, does half-term really exist?

The answer is yes it does exist, but it’s not what everyone perceives it to be. For all you new and aspiring teachers out there, do not expect a lovely week off where you do nothing. My perception of half-term is that it is a sort of ‘catch-up’ week. It’s like being at work but with a few luxuries thrown in  

 I should say now that some teachers are ‘super efficient’ and ‘perfect’ but like most, I am not. In my opinion, my classroom management and teaching abilities are excellent, but my organisation and marking are quite poor. I love being in the classroom, when I’m teaching it doesn’t even feel like a job. Despite regularly lecturing my students on becoming the independent learner and the importance of self-motivation, I struggle to motivate myself when it comes to marking their assignments. I do get the job done, but leading up to half-term (or any break) I get into the mindset that other things are more important and the assignments can be left for half-term. 

For all of the established teachers reading this, I know you’re screaming at me saying “why have you been in the office 5 times this week?” It pains me to say this, but I am the king of procrastination. If I am in the comfort of my own home I will eat 6 meals a day + snacks, I will clean the house from top to bottom and I might even do some exercise, there is always something else to do before I pick up that pen and mark. So please help me! Does anyone have any advice to help me with my marking strategy?

Half-term does exist; it’s a week available for us teachers to use as we want. If I can change my mindset or come up with a new marking strategy I may just be able to enjoy the whole week off……until I have kids

(ps from Monday, the blog will be a daily update of my teaching practice and anything funny, unusual or exciting that happened)